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    Physicians' warnings to patients that they are potentially unfit to drive can prevent car crashes, researchers reported. The annual rate of car accidents among patients who were so warned fell about 45% in the year after the doctor's intervention, compared with the 3 years before, according to Donald Redelmeier, MD, of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, and colleagues in the Sept. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

    MedPage Today
  • Once a promising source of green energy, high-tech biofuel is being eclipsed by skin cream and food products as manufacturers shift to more lucrative products....“All the biofuels share one set of fundamental problems, which is you’ve got to use resources to grow those biofuels,” said Dave Jones, chief operating officer of LiveFuels, a San Carlos company that extracts oils from algae. “The cost is quite high. You are spending $5 to make a $3 gallon of gas.”

    Bay Citizen
  •  ...A large study from Canada found that when doctors warn patients, and tell driving authorities, that the older folks may be medically unfit to be on the road, there’s a drop in serious crash injuries among those drivers. The study, in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine, couldn’t tell if the improvement was because those patients drove less, or drove more carefully once the doctors pointed out the risk.

    Washington Post
  • No use blaming mechanical malfunctions. Technology isn’t holding up a revolutionary shift in air travel as much as policy and politics. The Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen, promises to redefine the aviation industry by replacing Cold War-era ground systems with new-age satellite navigation. This should make flying more manageable by enhancing safety, dropping fuel costs, minimizing delays and creating quicker flights. It also could help offset a massive passenger influx over the next decade.

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    “I’LL love and protect this car until death do us part,” says Toad, a 17-year-old loser whose life is briefly transformed by a “super fine” 1958 Chevy Impala in “American Graffiti”. The film follows him, his friends and their vehicles through a late summer night in early 1960s California: cruising the main drag, racing on the back streets and necking in back seats of machines which embody not just speed, prosperity and freedom but also adulthood, status and sex....But in the rich world the car’s previously inexorable rise is stalling. A growing body of academics cite the possibility that both car ownership and vehicle-kilometres driven may be reaching saturation in developed countries—or even be on the wane, a notion known as “peak car”.

    The Economist
  • ..."The challenge for officials is actually greater this time because of people saying, 'We've heard this disaster message before,'" said Brian Taylor, coauthor of a UCLA study titled "Why it wasn't Carmageddon" prepared for the mayor's office....Crafting a more nuanced admonition entails "an interesting and complex social phenomenon," says Martin Wachs, coauthor of the study.

    LA Times
  • Standing in front of giant monitors showing live traffic patterns around the region, Caltrans’ local director on Tuesday said roughly 185,000 motorists must stay off the nation’s busiest freeway on Saturday and Sunday if this weekend’s “Carmageddon II” is to be a success.

    LA Times
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    ...This is the kind of home – already complete with wall sconces, built-in cabinets and warm paint tones – where a sizable share of Americans live (or, at least, aspire to). In the quest to combat climate change and reduce our energy consumption, it’s easy to sidestep this reality.

    Atlantic Cities
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    Passengers who don't want to sit near young children will soon get that optionon Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia X. The airline, which functions of the long-haul unit of Kuala Lumpur-basedAirAsia, says it will set aside the first seven rows of coach for passengers aged 12 and older.

    USA Today
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    ...A half-century or so ago Louisville, like so many American cities, bet the farm on cars and suburbia. It sacrificed a swath of its downtown to three interstate highways....Blocks of historic commercial warehouses and banks were leveled as a consequence; the center of the city was severed from Louisville’s spectacular waterfront; mass transit was largely abandoned and many corners of town transformed into parking lots....And the traffic? It got worse.

    New York Times